Japanese startup in KL raises angel funding

  • BuzzElement gets 6-figure funding from CyberAgent Ventures
  • Positioning its app to be the ‘Waze’ of real-time pricing data

Japanese startup in KL raises angel fundingKUALA Lumpur-based Japanese startup BuzzElement has received an undisclosed injection of angel investment, believed to be in the six-figure US dollar range – from Japanese venture capital firm CyberAgent Ventures.
BuzzElement, founded by Hajime Hirose (pic) and two others, picked Kuala Lumpur (KL) as their base to launch their startup in July, mainly due to the growing startup scene in KL and the advanced communications infrastructure.
Aside from the founders, it has two full-time staff and three on contract, but who are not based in Malaysia.
BuzzElement is developing a consumer mobile app and platform called Cream that leverages the crowd to determine if a purchase is a good deal. It will be releasing an Android-based public beta in early January, with an iOS version released shortly after. The full launch is scheduled for the first quarter of next year. [Upated to reflect public beta launch date ]
“The angel funding we’ve received from CyberAgent Ventures will accelerate our consumer reach and further improve our analytics platform and app features,” said Hirose.
“We also plan to expand our core team and further enhance our technology and marketing initiatives,” he added.
Hirose, who had18 years of mobile and Internet experience in Japan, China, the United Kingdom and the United States, established BuzzElement in Japan in April 2012. The team launched a number of apps there for the Japanese market. Cream is its attempt to launch a global app.
CyberAgent Ventures primarily invests in early-stage startups. According to Takahiro Suzuki, its general manager, “Keeping up with today’s rapidly evolving technology would require businesses to have access to non-traditional marketing research.
“With an experienced and skilled team behind BuzzElement, we are confident that our partnership with it will go a long way in producing the desired results – effective software solutions that will help businesses and brands stay relevant,” he added.
BuzzElement is positioning Cream as the ‘Waze of real-time pricing data. Consumers will be able to use it to leverage large groups of people to help them decide if they are getting a good deal or not on a purchase.
A consumer need only snap a picture of the item he or she is looking to buy, then add the price and a quick description of the item. This information is instantly sent out to other Cream users who can then let the original poster know if he or she is getting a good price for the item.
The crowd can also select other places nearby with better deals, and also recommend other options and items to the original poster. The data will then be represented in a chart for that user to analyse and decide if he or she should purchase the item.
The long-term vision is to build a real-time pricing data engine with which BuzzElement can compare millions of prices from all over the world. The company plans to generate revenue by selling this pricing data to consumer research companies and large brands.
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